In Part I, I looked at the offense on my FanGraphs Experts League team using the new ottoneu Roster Organizer tool. Today, I’ll finish up by reviewing my pitching staff and seeing where my team sits heading into trade season.
The pitching discussion should be interesting – I have choices to make on a legit ace (Roy Halladay), a bounce back candidate (Ryan Dempster), and more.
Again, I moved guys to the minors, made some clear cuts, and set my roster, resulting in this:
SP – Roy Halladay, Jered Weaver, Jeremy Hellickson, Michael Pineda, Shaun Marcum
RP – Aaron Crow
Bench – Clayton Richard, Jair Jurrjens, Julio Teheran, Cory Luebke, Ryan Dempster, Drew Pomeranz
Minors – Wily Peralta, John Lamb, Trevor Bauer
Cuts – J.P. Howell, Javy Guerra
So, can I start by saying that I absolutely love my starting pitching? Love it. It’s young, cheap and awesome. But, with that out of the way…
I can’t legitimately keep 11 ML starters, let alone eight ML starters and three minor leaguers who are not far away. So who needs to go?
Easiest to part with is probably Dempster. He isn’t too expensive ($8), but he is coming off a pretty bad year. That “bad” year, though, is highly impacted by a brutal ERA – his K/9 and BB/9 numbers are in-line with past seasons and his FIP and xFIP were just fine – both sub-4.00. He is a great bounce-back candidate and guy whose value should be lower at auction than he is worth. The question is, will it be below $8? If so, I probably cut him and try to get him back. If not, I have to keep or trade him.
I’d clear the most cap space by (gulp…) cutting Halladay at $45. This seems kind of crazy, on it’s face. He went for $46 on average last year, and I have him for less than that for 2012. And for a guy who will turn 35 early in the year, he has shown no signs of dropping off. His velocities were all down slightly last year, but not so much that we should expect him to fall apart. But with the rotation depth I have, I have to seriously consider cutting him loose.
There are a couple other guys who might be good trade options. Weaver is awfully good, but he is probably pretty fairly priced at $28, meaning there isn’t a ton of surplus value. If I could turn him into an equally valued closer, that would be a big step in the right direction (we’ll get to my pen in a second). Marcum is cheaper, but probably also a reasonable trade candidate at $12 – there is some surplus value there, but not a ton. Richard and Jurrjens are solid back-end of the rotation guys in a 5×5 league, and while I have no great desire to cut them, turning them into pieces I have a greater need for via trade makes sense.
The problem here, of course, is my bullpen. Guerra and Howell are potentially keepable if they get closer jobs, but I am figuring neither will and I will end up cutting them both. Crow won’t be a closer either – but he very well may be in the rotation, and is probably worth holding onto cause of that.
Based on all of that, I am left with 35 players under contract for $304 total. The problem is I have more than 5 spots to fill. I need a starting SS and a backup MI. I need another OF. I need stolen bases for sure. And I need at least 4, maybe 5, relievers, including at least 2 closers. A lot of these guys can come cheap (1-2 of the relievers can go for $1-$2 each; the backup MI can be $1-$2, etc.) but I need to find some roster spots.
What that means is that I either have to trade some of my strength (SP) to address those holes, or at least make some 2-for-1 type trades to consolidate talent and open up space.
What do you think? Between this and Part I, what would you do? Who would you trade? Did I cut anyone I shouldn’t? Keep anyone I should have cut?
Two small notes – first and foremost, Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families! I hope you enjoy the day and take time to reflect on what you have to be thankful for. Second, if there is anything related to ottoneu you would like me to cover in a future column, leave it in the comments here. I can’t promise to cover everything, but I will take a look at anything you’d like to read.
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